By Frederick Peters, KADUNA
NEWSDAILYNIGERIA-The Zaman Tare project of Caritas Nigeria has ended a Training seminar on Human rights for Community/ local leaders, security agents and stakeholders across the 8 selected communities in the 4 metropolitan LGAs of Kaduna State
The 3-Day workshop also trained the local leaders on indigenous dispute resolution mechanism at the community level thereby making them instruments and advocates of human rights, dispute resolution and mediation.
Speaking on “Understanding my Rights ” the Permanent commissioner, Kaduna state Peace commission, Hajia Khadija Hauwaja Gambo said the essence is ” to conscientize the participants of what their rights are as well as to also understand that others also have rights too
” Again we are trying to make sure that we all understand that some of these violent conflicts could have been averted if only all of us will try and respect the rights of others, and so if we continue to violate the rights of others definitely others will violate ours and it will result to continuous violence that we are seeing in our country ” she noted
According to her, as much as we are working on peace building ” we also need to make people understand that some of the concerns, triggers or drivers of these conflicts arise from violation of rights, adding that by protecting other people’s rights, what we are doing by and large is peace building.
She maintained that the right to life is God given, it’s a natural thing and that’s why she asked the participants if they know of any country or shop that sales life or parents that out of love transferred their lives to their wards ,she also sought to know whether dignity is sold but the answers she got were No, ” these are God given rights that nobody has rights to take with out justifiable reasons, she stressed.
She further warned that someone”s rights should not be denied him due to ethnic, political, religious or opinion one holds. While calling on government to protect lives and property ” to remind them of their covenent between them and God that as leaders they have taken a vow promising God Almighty and all the citizens to protect lives and property ” she added
Responding the program officer, CAFOD, Mr Daniel Ogabiela, said as an organization the are in partnership with Caritas Nigeria and DREP in the implementation of the Zaman Tare (Living together) project since inception ” Basically what we have today is a training on human rights and by extension a training of mediators
” and how they can also know their rights and also learn how to resolve their conflicts at the community level, We are training community leaders from 8 communities and trying to see how to work with the government to strengthen their skills around mediation, so that they can involve in mediation without allowing conflicts to escalate basically, that is why we are here”
Describing the quality presentations and discussions saying ” I see it as a very wonderful initiative, like the facilitators working with the Peace Commission, they are doing an excellent job building the skills of community leaders, I am confident that the outcome is going to be something great” he averred
On his part, a participant, Imam Musa Tanimu from Ungwa Rimi, Kaduna, said he has actually learnt a lot from the training ” one of the fundamental things I understand is my rights and how to protect it, once you know your rights you’ll be able to protect other people’s rights adding that many Nigerians do not know their rights hence they go into conflicts.
While urging the authorities to ensure the protection of citizens” rights to life, legitimate businesses, right to political association, right to religion adding that ” the problems we are facing in Kaduna is Politics and and religion, once you belong to a different political party the associate it to religion
According to him there’s right to choice of religion, ” even the Holy Koran says there’s no compulsion in religion .He then reiterated the need for government to ensure that the rights of citizens in the state are protected, irrespective of persuasions because they will be asked thus their responsibility.
Similarly, Prophet Anthony Akochi of the Chapel of God’s Generals Barakallahu Kaduna, while describing the training as ‘monumentally successful’ said he benefitted from lot of issues discussed especially how the conflict resolution and human rights moderators handled their topics
According to him, he has come to understand that in the aspect of conflicts there are some mechanisms that need to be used to get to the roots of matters and resolving them.
Speaking on Human rights ” we have come to understand that we are all equal not only before God but under the law, so we need to treat each other as the law requires so that there can be peace in the land, less of conflicts ” he reiterated
The EC Zaman Tare Project is funded by European Union, (EU) and implemented by Caritas Nigeria, Catholic Agency for Overseas,( CAFOD), Development and Dialogue Reconciliation and Peace Centre (DREP)